The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Building Yourself Into a Successful Morning Person w/ Tom Alaimo

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Not a lot of us are excited when the 5:00 AM alarm goes off.

But we could train ourselves to be.

Recently on Sales Engagement, I was able to chat with Tom Alaimo, Growth Account Executive at Gong, about setting yourself up for success with a killer morning routine.

What we talked about:

  • How Tom achieved sales rep of the year in North America with self-discipline
  • Tom’s morning rituals
  • The importance of completing the top two priorities by noon
  • How to get started waking up early

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagementin your favorite podcast player.
 

Welcome to the sales engagement a podcast. This podcast is brought to you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, and they just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach. Well does outreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach ones account based, plays, manages reps and so much more using their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base. When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as they do. Had to outreach Doo on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. Hello and welcome back everyone to the sales engagement podcast. You hanging out with stuff, Parker, and this is going to be a fun one. I am joined by Tom Alamo. Tom, welcome, brother, Hey, I appreciate you have me on, Scott. Let's do this thing. This is going to be fun. And so, finally, enough, Tom and I just recorded another podcast. Tom Actually has a podcast of his own and we just did an episode together. So we're doing backtoback, really getting to know each other here. It's fun to be the interviewer now. But Tom so, you've recently just joined Gom. That's really cool, fast growing company. Account executive over at Gonge. But for the listeners, before we kind of dive into it, did you give the Quick Superhero origin story? Tom Had you get to where you're at today? Yeah, man, I'm excited to be here and I'm always a little more comfortable being the interviewer, so it was fun to have you on the show. But yeah, I am from Boston originally and I got my start in sales in college. Came across a Shiny Flyer and a grocery store parking lot which ended up being an opportunity for cut code knives. So if anyone knows that, you're going...

...into people's homes and cutting up fruits, vegetables, pennies, ropes, pretty much anything you get your hands on to try to sell knives. I did particularly well they're that summer was number seven in New England. Had A great time, made some good money and that opened my eyes in college to that, you know, sales could be a real job. You know, I didn't even know that that was really a real opportunity for someone to come out of school. So that opened my eyes to it. I came out of school and went to tech target. Spent five years there in ten data company just outside of Boston. And you know, for the first six, nine, twelve months coming out of school, as a lot of people do, I was struggling with, you know, partying too much. You know, I'd be going out, you know, Monday for Monday night football. You know, maybe take Tuesday off, and then you got wine Wednesday and Thursday and then the weekend. And you know, I came across a book thinking grow rich by Napoleon Hill. I don't know how I got it, I don't know where it came but it is. It absolutely changed my life and just thinking about what I put in is what I could get out of my career, my life. Actually have it right here. This is not prestaged. I read them every year at the end of the year as kind of a reminder and kind of excite me and work on my goals for the next year. So we're doing this in December and I was check taking a look at it today. But Yeah, tech target. I went through the ranks and started to really kind of Humm along start working with midsize enterprise companies. was named sales rep of the year and in North America one year and started working with folks like Microsoft and IBM and some of our bigger customers. And you know, on the side, what I've been doing for a lot, about three and a half years, I know that we just did the interview together, is build up a blog in a podcast around first personal development and now it's more focused on sales. And so I've been doing that for about three and a half years, put out hundreds of pieces of content and you know, like you mentioned, I just decided to join Gong. Started in January and, you know, excited to bring on two thousand and twenty one...

...with, you know, new role and new opportunity and hopefully make it a great year. I love it, man, I love it. Incredible Storing. There's lots. I want to dive into. Their first first thing that popped in my head. Once you get on boarded with with gone, we're going to have to take the sales engagement podcast and put it through gone and see how many times coco knives has come up, because I swear it's like every third person in this successful salesperson in tech or in other industries, was trained by by Keto. Originally a lot of people selling coco knives. So shout out CUCO for training half the tech industry. Dude, shout out. And you know they have killers. And the thing is that once you get good, you make fifty percent, commission I don't know if people know that. Yeah, don't. You hit a certain dollar amount. So there's people that out there that. I mean they just do that full time and they're selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of knives every year. But there's no better training ground than just going in person, whether your cold call and knocking on doors. I know that's how you had your come up as well, and you know a cold call or big presentation is a lot less scary once you've been doing that and you know, standing in people's homes and cutting up their dinner with them. Yeah, I mean you're totally right. It's just about it's like that. It's just a sheer repetition. You get so many cycles in with so many different styles of people that you start to be able to make some patterns. I remember this is not even I wish I could find this. I probably threw it out in one of my moves. But way back in the day I had built this like chart. I like twenty seven personality types, and I was I was positive that there was only like twenty seve because I kept seeing like the same kind of people show up. A Bi Oh you were like that last person and, like I did, would have been that would be some of the best content ever. That would be awesome. But that was built from a nineteen year old brain, so it's probably a very flawed but clearly it's all right. Yeah, it was...

...great too, because they taught you how to cold called. They taught we talked about goals. You set goals every week. How many demos you want to do, how much you want to sell? You know, the sales managers were great. It was a great education for for coming up. So it wasn't just still reps and you know, there's a lot of good coach in there too. That's awesome. You know, if they're still around, the still think. Oh Yeah, I know people that are in college getting an internship there. I always tell them that's where they can start. I love that. That's awesome. All right, I want to hold it on something there. So you use you got sales wrap at the year. Man, that's that's incredible for North America. That is no easy feet. What do you think that year or what led to that year? What were you doing differently? How did you become number one out of everyone else? It's a good question. I mean, I think anyone that's been in sales for, you know, a couple of years knows that there's a lot of you know, what you get in it or what you get out is just, you know, equal to what you put in, but they're also take some luck to so you know, there's a lot of things that, you know, I try to do all the time and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But for me, what I really learned and what I've really focused on early in my career is trying to focus on what I can control and really focus on the fundamentals of having the right attitude, putting in the most effort, treating people well, making good choices and so, like I was, I remember and I still am this way. But once I've read that book and I just started reading, you know, consuming all this. You know Tony Robbins and you know all you know Dal Carnegie and all this stuff. You know all these people that you know, I'm sure a lot of the listeners have read as well. I just got really honed in on being super discipline. So I started getting up at five in the morning and I'd be prospected in the morning and then I'd, you know, be sending books to prospects and send in coffee mugs with their, you know, university on them and trying to book meetings that way. And you start getting the podcast...

...and try to use that to book some meetings as well. And so I felt like my brain was just on fire at that point and I almost feel like back then I didn't know. I didn't even know what I was doing. I didn't know that, you know, like what the limits were. I feel like as we get older, we placed these limits on ourselves and say, Oh, you know, this is what I did last year, so this is about what I should be doing, or this is what the person next to me. At that stage I was so green. It was probably my second or third year that I was just like I could sell, you know, a billion dollars worth of this data. You know, there's no limit. So I really went for it and you know, I've spent a lot of time visualizing it, I would meditate on it, I'd write down my goals every single morning. So it was really like an obsession that I knew that I really wanted to get good at sales and I wanted to make money and I want to be successful, and there's just some years where I feel like there's distractions that come up, maybe you don't do things the way you would have liked or you get an unlucky break here and there, but I felt like I was just so totally focused and obsessed with trying to sell and trying to be successful at the company that I put all my eggs in that basket and, you know, worked out well. I mean that's what it takes. You know, it's crazy to hear that, and that's like it's a repeatable formula, like the the roadmap to success has already been figured out. You know. You you get up early, you take care of your body, you take care of your mind, you put in the hours and it's if you're giving an opportunity. Of course there's a whole other slew of issues that we won't get into, but if you're giving an opportunity, that's really the road map, man, and you you did it. Do still get up at a five an yeah, for the most part it's yeah, five or thirty and yeah, I like that's the one discipline, that's the one habit that I feel like has really made a big impact on me because I'm a morning person and it's just it's just feels good to start...

...the day when you know other people are sleeping and you can get some things done, and I try to get as many top priorities done by noon as I can, so then the afternoon is gravy. You know, that's that's the goal on most days. So yeah, that's that's a habit up stuck with. That's awesome, man. It's something I kind of I kind of bounce back and forth with. I'll get, I get. I'm very like I find them like cyclical. You know, do you ever? You know, you know, you see like learn a lesson or figure out a routine and then somewhere at it just goes away and you're like well, yeah, that happened and then you have to relearn it. So I love that. You said you you re were read Napoleon Hill every year. I read seven habits of highly effective people every year because as as humans were were very forgetful. You know, we can learn lessons, but then we have to always relearn them just as much. That's cool, man. So I guess my next question is let's let's dive into Napoleon Hail. So you're you're a big fan. I'm not a big Fan as well, many are. What's stuck out to you? You know, it had a profound impact on your career. What we're sort of the the lightbulb moments, other than, you know, what you mentioned, which was some serious discipline. Yeah, I mean I think from a you know, kind of Meta, full philosophical perspective, it was the thought of like a growth mindset, right. It's the thought that, you know, I was someone in school that got be be pluses. You know, I wasn't I wasn't failing out, I wasn't getting straight as in sports, I was pretty good, you know, as a deto athlete. You know, I'm not a big guy. I did pretty well at sports, but was never the Stud I was never, you know, breaking records or anything like that, and so I was kind of thought that that's just me, and that book really illuminated all of these different examples and all of the reasons why you can actually go from wherever you are right now and continue to get better and if you continue to focus on constant improvement,...

...you can make things happen. So like they start out. The book starts out with a story of this guy, Edwin Barnes, and he's just got it in his mind that he wants to work with Thomas Edison. This is a really old story, and so he hops on some freight train and he goes down to New Jersey and he presents himself and says hey, now I want to work with you, and Edison kind of blows him off and then, you know, over time he tells a story of how he, his sheer persistence and will and desire, not only earned him the job, but then he actually changed Edison's whole business and became his top salesman for whatever product it was. I think it was the edit phone, they called it. And you know, it's just it just really resumeated with me of like Oh, I can be tenacious, I can be persistent, I can work harder than people, I can pursue things, you know, with more passion. If I do so, it's going to put me in a really good spot. I'm not not to say I'm going to be the next Bill Gates or whoever. That's not, you know, what I'm trying to do, but I know that I can be successful if I put in the hours and I put in the time and it was the first, you know, lesson that. I that that really resonated with me. Yeah, I like that. My question is, this will be a really like practical one, is when you feel these self limiting beliefs coming at you, which we all have them. Everyone has them. I have them, you know, every day, when you feel so self limiting beliefs and you kind of identify it, what is your strategy for for getting over that? Do you need time to meditate on it, or you take a walk, or how do you get out of that sort of almost fun because it's like just your brain kind of lying to you. How do you get out of that, because it can be hard to snap out of that loop and some people spend their whole lives that. Yeah, I mean it's a good point because no matter who you look at, everyone has those thoughts. The most successful, rich people, wealthy or famous, whoever, they all have those self limiting beliefs. So with...

...me, you know, I was thinking about this actually this morning. Funny enough, you know that there's kind of that that theory that, say you're going to buy a car, right, and you're going to buy a say it, you know, priest or something, and then all of a sudden you just start seeing all these priests all over the road and you didn't really notice them before. And so I think it's called red car theory or something. Maybe I'm making that up, but it's just something like that. There's a fancier name but I can't remember it right now. But yeah, so it's called the red car theory. For example, trade. I think, yeah, I'll take royalties on that. So you, I think that's very true, for your for the thoughts and beliefs that you have right. So, like I take time, especially when I'm, you know, in a good in a good mode, to write down every morning, like what are the goals, what are the beliefs that I have? What are the affirmations that I have? So, if my goal is to be the sales rep of the year, and all right out, I am the sales the sales rep of the year at Xyz Company in two thousand and twenty one, and I'll write that down every morning and then I might write down a few things of like who I'll have to be to become. That's like, you know, I'm honest, I'm hard working. Now I have integrity, empathetic. You know, I work really hard. You have positive attitude, so on and so forth. So I feel like if I'm spending time writing that, I'm talking to myself about that, I'm consuming things that reinforce that, you know, positive speakers or books or things like that. It's not going to block out all limiting beliefs, but it's enough positivity around me that I feel like I can get myself back in that state of confidence, because without that, if you ever try to sell something when you're in a funk or not confident or don't believe in yourself or don't believe in what you're selling, it just doesn't work. So that's what I have to do is almost to a really, you know, kind of like obsessive degree key positivity and keep, you know, those thoughts around me so that I can keep myself going when I feel down or don't feel motivated. I love that. What's your because you've mentioned a few things now, you know, working out affirmations. What's...

...your morning routine? Do you get? So you get up early? You GET A PRIV thirty? Do you start working right away? What sets the tone for the day? Because it sounds like your mornings are really important. Yeah, that's a good question. So yeah, wake up, say five or five thirty. I try to get let's say, you can take a step back. The morning I always feel like starts the night before. So I yeah, things to be set up, you know, like I want whatever I'm going to wear, I got it picked out, like what I'm having for breakfast. I know what it is my schedule and like what I'm going to do, I know it. I know who I'm calling, for example, or what I'm going to do in the morning, so I don't have to waste energy thinking about that stuff. But I'll get up, you know, have a glass of water, I'll meditate for ten minutes, I'll do a little bit of journaling while I make my coffee and then I think, similar to you, I kind of go back and forth. I've done like the early morning workout. Right now more of an afternoon workout guy, and I try to focus on getting whatever my top two priorities are for the day done before noon and so in some examples that might be shit, I'm way behind on my prospecting or I got to put a twohour prospecting chunk. I'm and make sure I get that done. It could be I got to write a blog or, you know, prepare for this podcast or do a presentation, you know at deck something like that. So I try to get whatever those two things done that I know I'm going to be proud about at the end of the day. I want to get them done definitely before noon. I might even get them done before, you know, nine or ten, depending on how big or how much for a lift they are. And then, you know, after that kind of get into the normal sales stuff that you have to do of emails and proposals and things like that. But I try not to check my phone or my email for the first like hour or two there, because no one's really no one needs me at six am or or seven am. So I've always felt like that was like a way to kind of get me anxious or to get me to, you know, focus on something else that I'm not supposed to do. So on my best...

...mornings, yeah, those first like two or three hours are focused on me. You know, I'm writing those things down like in my journal, and then I'm just getting after into like my first one or two priorities for the day. Yeah, yeah, again, great stuff, I know. I think it's Bill Gates has that strategy where he's like a right out here to do list for the day and then circle the top three and leave everything else and just focus on those, those three things that, like you said, are going to make you feel accomplished, that are going to move the needle, and everything else is just it's just gravy. All right. So you've built this because that's a that's a great routine and one that many aspire to do, have best intentions to do and often fall fall short. And that's okay. You don't have to be perfect, you know, seven days a week, we're all human. How did you because I'm we talked about this on the last podcast. This idea of compound interest, and compound interest can be built up with with anything, with with relationships, with money, with discipline, and that's what I think is happened with you, right, you've basically like slowly started integrating discipline into your life and now it's so ingrained in your life. You have all this compound interest of discipline that it's it's become way easier over time. For those people listening, I know that's the right thing to do. I would love to do that. Maybe doesn't have three, five, maybe it's six, seven, whatever year your time is, but get that chunk of morning for yourself before the world wakes up. If you can transport back to when you were first trying this, and I'm sure tried and pay a little, tried failed a little. Yeah, what would your advice be to those people that would like to integrate something like this into their their mornings? Yeah, well, if you're anything like me, you're probably ambitious and like to make major shifts and put too much on your plate at once, because that's I feel like that's kind of my trend. It's like there's not enough of my plate, let's dump everything on and then get...

...overwhelmed and then remove everything and just kind of go through that cycle. So it's easy, when I want to pick up a new habit, to want to go all in at the beginning, where I actually feel like, you know, a smarter approach, and I wish I was better at this, is to take more incremental chunks. So let's just say you want to build a habit of getting up early, will stick with that. And let's say right now you're waking up at seven and you want to get closer to five. That's a pretty big difference, two hours. You know, if you take a twohour time zone difference traveling, you might be jet lagged for a day or two righte so, like that's a pretty substantial shift. So I would just say maybe you start with fifteen, twenty minutes right, like try getting up at forty five this week and then next week thirty and then, you know, so on and so forth, and then, you know what, two months you're up at five every day and you did it gradually and you've let your body adjust to that. I think it's easy to you know, the first maybe day or two you wake up, you make that drastic change and the first day you really fired up about it, and then by day two or three you're like, Oh man, I'm exhausted, you know, because you're still going to sleep at your normal time. Your body's not adjusted. Maybe don't know what to do with those extra two hours, and then you just quit it all together. So I feel like it's taken that gradual approach, and I think that sticks with anything. I think that's if you're trying to eat healthier, if you're trying to prospect more, if you're trying to read more, anything that you do too generally better yourself. I feel like it's better to take it as small chunks and kind of play the long game. Yeah, couldn't agree more. And what you said a bout too much on your plate, I can certainly. Yeah, I relate to that and in many ways, and I think a lot of our generation does, this, has this idea of wanted to like kind of boiled the ocean right away as soon as an idea, this instant gratification generation of like Oh, that's a good idea, let's do that now, and then, as you kind of grow up and you mature, you realize you can't do it all. Do you have any strategies for what you do put on your plate,...

...what you say yes to and and what you say no to? Is it's something I'm kind of wrestling with right now, is is this idea that in order to be the most effective, you have to say no to some things. Do you have any sort of framework that you use to be like, okay, I played his hole, can't do anymore, or when you put more on. Yeah, I would say this is probably one of the things I struggle with the most. So we'll take any advice I give with a grain of salt. But I do love I love the concept that's from Derek Sivers called Hell, yes or no. So essentially, if it's not a hell yes, it's a no. Right. So any of those that you're like yeah, that sounds pretty good, you knock that off right like any if it's a one to ten scale, anything below probably like an eight, is not a hell yes, then that's not worth your time. And I guess the caveat I would make to that is like if you're first starting your career and you're just like it's your first year in sales and your first year networking with people, you might want to maybe lower that bar and just tried different things and experiment. But if you feel strapped and you feel like you know you're having a hard time prioritizing either things in your work or your personal life or whatever, I think that's just a great foundation of it's either hell, it's not a hell, yes it's a No. That's a good one. That's gonna stick with me. It's it's a sinct. It's easy to remember. I feel like my next decision I'm going to have, it's gonna that's gonna pop up. So thank you for sharing that. WHO's a quote? Is that? So it's Derek Sivers. I know you're a Nov all guy and he's. Yeah, he's one of those maybe in a similar sense in of all, like one of those people that comes on the Tim Ferris podcast that you've never heard of but just drops gems. He was one of the first few guests, I think. So He's been on once or twice that. He just drops great stuff and has his own blog and a few books, so I would highly recommend it. Cool check it out. All Right, man, final question and then we'll go into some kind of...

...takeaways that you want to really leave the listeners, and there's been a lot of good nuggets in here. So you're just about to start a new role and I think many people, particularly this year there was a ton of layoffs in two thousand and twenty, a lot of people starting fresh in two thousand and twenty one probably taking on a new role as well. So many listeners in a similar situation. How do you approach a new role like? What are you going to get in there and and do? It's a good question. I think the advice that's been given to me is you know when starting a new role is, for the first whatever period of time, maybe it's a month or two months. You want to be a sponge, right and you want to have confidence in whatever you've done in your past that you're going to be able to replicate that and that's why they hired you, because they think that you can add value and sales or roll or marketing or whatever it is that your job is. But you don't want to be the person that comes in and thinks they know everything right and wants to do everything your way and is kind of calling people loud and making people feel less than and being this polarizing figure. I think something that I wish I learned a little earlier in my career was the internal sale right of building relationships at your company because your other years they might be a sales director. Some day you know the person in finance or marketing or contracts or procurement. They're going to help you with all of your deals, right, and all these different departments actually work together and help sales and you help them as well, and so I think the key to is really trying to build relationships and really trying to be a sponge, trying to understand what works, what doesn't and where can I add my flare, my creativity to cause some positive outcomes. So I think for me it's trying to be patient, hold holding back on that learning and then, when the time has come, start making things happen. Yeah, incredible advice and one I also wish that I was better at earlier, earlier in...

...my career, is basically just your shut out for the first month and just listen, like just yeah, just listen, listen, listen, listen, listen. Go and try and hunt down those those top performers, buy them coffees, by them, lunch, whatever you got to do to take some of their time, because all the answers are are in their head and it's your job just to try and extract as as much. So I think that's a great approach and I know you'll get in there and absolutely smash it's excited to have you on maybe a year from now and we'll do a check in to see at the top of a leader board over at at Gom. All right, man. So this last question I always ask people have a lot going on and someone could be listening to this while they're are cooking dinner, working out, distracted by emails on their phone. If people just remember three things from this conversation, or just three things you think are super important to highlight and and that are important to you, what would you like those three things to be? Yeah, I think first and foremost, it's been just drilled into me from years, from my past boss and something I believe a lot, is you control your attitude in your effort right, you control you. So they're going to hang up on you, people might be rude, the BARRIFSA my port, too much almond milk in your Latte, a lot of things that are going to happen in a given day that are outside of your control. But you can control how hard you work, you can control your attitude, you can control the decisions you make, the choices, how you treat others, and so if you can control those things over the long run, you're going to be successful, period and of story. So I think that's the first thing you know. The second thing I would say is a mentor of mine, Ralph Barcie, who's over at tray now. Maybe the advice years ago before I started the blog and podcast, that in order to become valuable you need to add value to others. Right. So that's...

...why I started the blog in podcast was literally because of that one quote that I heard him say and I said, Oh, I want to be valuable, so let me just try to add value. So that could be that you create content, that could be that you know how you handle yourself in a sales conversation. It could be that you're just prepared and you have a genda ready and you know you're taking notes on any internal meeting that you have. It's just doing those little things that can help make people's lives easier and help try to, you know, make their job better or easier or, you know, add dit them before you ask for the sale or ask for advice or has them to be your mentor whatever it might be. And then the third thing is, you know, surround yourself with great people. So that could mean joining a great company, that could mean surrounding yourself with great friends or significant other or family or whomever is inspiring and uplifting to you. But I think it also you know, there's a lot of talk about mentors, and I put a really highpasis also on virtual mentors. Right, like who's in your instagram feed? Who are you reading? Who's podcasts are you listening to? You who are you, you know, interacting with on Linkedin or twitter or read it or you know whatever community that you're a part of? Right, because you could say that you want to get better at things and then you spend an hour and a half on instagram with things that kind of make you feel sad or less than or that are just kind of silly. Right. But if you're continuing to use all these great resources, all this great content to help make you better and more inspired and and have more skills than skies the limit. So those are the three for you. Credible advice. Credible advice. Go back thirty seconds, maybe one minute, read lesson to that. That was. That's the the secrets to a a successful career, on a successful life. Tom I'm sure people listening to this would love to hear more of what you have to say. You have a great outlook on on life. Where can they do so? Of course you have...

...your awesome podcast. At where else can people connect? Yep, yeah, so the podcast is called millennial sale, so it's on apple, spotify, wherever you listen. You can add me. Tom My last name is Alaimo, on Linkedin. O respawn to pretty much every message. That again, unless it's just a cold spam sales pitch, and then you can find me on twitter and Instagram at Tommy Tahoe, and I love to connect with people. Sit Me up and let's start a conversation. Amazing, Tom Thank you so much for the time and the insight. This has been a ton of fun and good luck in that the new role and from those listeners will see an next episode. Appreciate it, Scott. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears, please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy. Make sure to check out outreach that I oh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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